‘Godfather of Crypto’ Reinvents the Digital Money | David Chaum

We've got to save this planet and our Civilization let's not let the robots Take over money is not the kind of thing You want to hold this is what keeps the Global poor poor this is David charm a Visionary computer scientist known as The Godfather of crypto and the father Of online anonymity in his Berkeley Dissertation in 1982 CH pioneered the idea of anonymous Digital cash shaping the future of Electronic payments His work not only influenced Cryptocurrencies but continues to drive Innovation at the crossroads of Cryptography and economics we spent some Great time with charm during this year's United Nations climate change conference In Dubai in our discussions he told us About his latest projects including Better than money a protocol that aims At revolutionizing how value is Exchanged here are the highlights you Don't want to [Music] Miss [Music] I would love to start with with a Personal question what is that you are Most proud of out of all this great Achievements to be really Frank and it's Maybe a little bit uh out of this the Realm here but I did make a very Fundamental scientific breakthrough uh

Called multiparty Computation And it's a kind of thrill that you only Get if you're really like a world class Leading a science just that stumbles on Something that's really big and so that Was uh awesome and I've received uh this Award for the best and most enduring Paper of the last 30 years in Theoretical computer science now when You dissect that theoretical computer Science hasn't really existed for much More than 30 years and it's the first Time they gave it and it is a big deal And it turns out that when I created This It it was kind of theoretical very Satisfying because you know it it it Fully characterized what you can do with Information security but it now might Really turn out to be the way to kind of Uh tame artificial Intelligences so that they can uh kind Of duke it out so we don't have to have Uh Warfare or uh conflict in the in the Physical world we be talking to today About better than money uh I think it's Still questionable whether there is Anything better than money I think there Are a lot of things that are better than Money but Let's let's maybe start with the this Criticism and What what was your journey to understand

That money is not perfect and when um You started thinking about this actively In the sense that you wanted to change It yeah well thanks you know I mean i' I've been working on electronic money For 40 years really I've Never uh really realize how important Money is to the global poor and to the Inequity which is kind of really Destroying the planet I think but Creating this polar it's feeding a lot Of the you know fragmentation and Polarization so I realized it you know This is The this is what keeps the global poor Poor because money is not the kind of Thing you want to hold because you're Not a you know you're not inuring value You're you're is a kind of I call you Know like money slavery basically you're You're you're subject to uh you're not Investing and then you're subject to Inflation and and possible collapse of Currencies and so forth and so on so It's you know what I Could say is that that uh historically Really you have two kinds of situations That people are in the public one is There you know they feel like they're Gaining Prosperity and there's the other kind of Situation where they feel like They're not able to reach the kind of Level of prosperity of their families

Their parents their the expectations They had they feel like they're Suffering uh a loss of prosperity And if you look what those people do It's it's very different the one group Defends democracy and you know and the The free market and so on and so forth And very vigorously and without Hesitation look at the last century and Then the other group you know look at Like uh Italy in the 30s or you know I Don't want to get into all that you know This gets very very very uh evil and When people feel that there's no you Know the system's not working for them It's not working efficiently they don't Feel the a gain in prosperity for Themselves then they just give up power To the nearest you know entity that Seems you know wanting willing to take It ventage so what is better than Money well you know okay there's a Little bit of puffery in that name but I Didn't choose it but many people use it Yeah was BTC but BTM yeah it's very Close and it you know so it's simply the Idea that you can pay someone by Transferring value from your portfolio Of assets directly into their portfolio Of assets and that uh means it's not the The the value is not traveling through Money but it's totally I say inter Fungible it it it it's a it's a Universal media of exchange and so

Everyone gets to hold all their value in An asset portfolio to curate it if you Will they can get the help of AI in Curating it which of course can make it Be managed better than Banks and others Have managed your value for you in the Past so holding assets rather than Someone else's debt who's sort of HH Handedly in a uniform way trying to one Siiz fitall make money off you it's so Much more attractive when you want to do Any kind of future payment than doing it With a mutually agreed portfolio is so Much better and it's will lead to so Much more economic Prosperity so decentralized Ledger Blockchain cryptocurrencies have have Made made this St that the the aim was To uh decentralize Democratize uh access to uh to Investments um and as a consequence Obviously redistribute wealth in the World so How bigger is the step uh from the Current cryptocurrencies to this better Than money I love the blockchain space Because it's it's a place where most Many people really believe strongly in The ethos and and it's so inspiring to Be uh a part of it even though it's you Know of course malign by some other Media you know mainstream media from Time to time where they find that uh Expedient but that so the truth is that

Better than money is just actually a Slight incremental Step Above what the Uh fintech world has been building as Been aiming to build and it's not all You know that public but there are Actors that have been just trying to Tokenize everything there's a vision for That there's a lot more happening in That uh space than you than you see and The tokenization of these assets that's I don't know three4 of better than money The the final part is a is a is a way to Create the this interf fungible Immediate Finality uh in in in value transfer Let's uh maybe talk a little bit about Other um crazily ambitious ideas that You're working on I know well I'm not Going to avoid the that characterization But uh since we're at cop 28 uh uh you Know we do have uh the astol project and It's a very simple idea that I had Basically you can simply move Moondust the Moon is covered in 5 to 15 Meters of dust the whole moon it's a Very fine powder because of it's being Pummeled by you know Asteroids for Billions of years and you can move that Dust to the What's called the sun earth L1 point which is the gravity balance Between the sun which is massive and the You know the Earth is Tiny so it's about 1% of the way uh to the sun from the Earth and it it it so as the earth goes

Around the sun and the Earth's you know Orbits and the Moon is involved little Bit uh that point always stays blocking Sunlight that would hit the earth and so We've uh that was my idea to move the Moondust there and it turns out that Other sers have thought of related Things about building mirrors and stuff There so it turns out you it's actually Feasible to uh to to cool to bring the Earth to pre-industrial uh temperatures To reduce the average temperature of the Earth by 2 degrees Centigrade by moving It's a lot of moon dust but it's it's Not as McKenzie said oh it's going to Take1 trillion dollars a year to you Know maybe make a down and all the no we Can go back to pre-industrial Temperatures from way under1 trillion And and Probably uh we can make a profit doing It because if you sift through all that Moondust to to launch it over to the L1 Uh you're going to find some interesting Stuff in there that with the same Technology you can also send it back Back to Earth and then you can kind of Let it waft its way back down uh with These existing Technologies so you can Deliver these whatever you you know Precious metals the Isotopes things People are interest even if just there's Water in moondust there's a certain Moisture level and water on the moon is

Extremely valuable if you want to make Conventional rocket fuels you know Hydrogen oxygen but you can also use it You know to get oxygen for people and And stuff so do you consider yourself a Scientist The first place yes ESS ladies and gentlemen sorry how do You measure your success and how do you Measure your your own satisfaction with The your thoughts and your scientific Activity well I think that being Judgmental is not really conducive to a Creative process you know in when you're Doing basic Science the things you Find were already there before you were You got there so you you really can't Take credit for them you know you could Take credit for your effort to find them Or the fact that you you know have Directed yourself towards these things Of significance but the ideas themselves They were there already So uh you know I yeah I I I don't really I wouldn't want to Judge uh myself by the quality of the Things that I've achieved because I Think it it there are things I've Discovered how do you see this the the Better than money system can contribute To this elimination of greed as a a very Perverse Concept in my opinion that is Totally human right like animals do not

Have greed um or do you think that there Is such an ambition do you have such an Ambition with better than money to Eliminate this uh Perversities well I yes I think of Better than money can naturally lead to A slightly More uh Decentralized Power and so a richer set Of uh things that individuals can aspire To and distinguish themselves with Respect to we we really have to um uh Think of the world as being in a very Precarious you know we have the Liquidity crisis we have This the giving over of control to AI we Have the global warming we've got a Number of of issues and if we can you Know we could do a kind of jiujitsu move On that take that energy turn it Around uh with better the money and Maybe a little bit of you know Astro Cooling or whatever and and and and and Use that energy to make a merge with a Great Civilization uh that's you know H you Know I think that this planet is a Wonderful wonderful place to live I Cannot imagine making something on Mars That would be more beautiful and more Fun to live in you know honestly please People let's let's be real you know We've got to save this planet and our Civilization and all the cultural things

That we've developed the diversity of The you know the animals and don't pay Any attention to people say oh we're Going to you know we've got to leave Here because maybe we'll be wiped it no Let's fix the place up and let's not let The robots take over let's make sure This is a human centered civilization And we can do it right now with we got The Privacy technology for it and that's The kind of the thin edge of the wedge As we say that's the way in and now is The Time I like there much this optimism Coming from pessimism I think this is The way we we should use this energy uh And money is just a tool and better than Money is just a tool um I think it was Jonathan Swift who once said that um a Wise man should keep money in their head Not in their Heart so I would say that better than Money as well is a tool right it's Something that is uh an intellectual Power uh and then we should keep the Happiness and equality and inclusion in Our hearts life and then you know this Yeah but we got to be just a little bit Careful that you know it it doesn't the Plumbing doesn't get away from us and And take over you know it's got to it's Got to serve us I think it's a great Note to end this conversation thank you Everyone for being here it's just so

Great such a pleasure thank you so much Thank you so much David [Music] [Music] N

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